Brownie & Ice Cream Peeps Pops #SpringSweetsWeek

This post is sponsored in conjunction with #SpringSweetsWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to help in the creation of the #SpringSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

Every year, I see bloggers posting fun Easter recipes involving ice cream or cute pictures of their kids in shorts, and I get incredibly jealous. Easter in NJ is still cold. We’re not thinking of ice cream yet and Easter dresses come with sweaters.

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But this year? Easter is so late that ice cream seems totally justified! I mean, it’s only a few days before May – and May is practically summer.

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Soft Frosted Lemon Cookies + Welcome to #SpringSweetsWeek

This post is sponsored in conjunction with #SpringSweetsWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to help in the creation of the #SpringSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

Welcome to #SpringSweetsWeek 2019 hosted by Heather from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks and Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures! What better way to celebrate the coming of spring than with food and a fun giveaway? 30 bloggers from around the country have come together to share over 100 sweet recipes perfect for spring!  Get ready to ditch your hats, coats, and snow boots and get ready for some delicious sweet treats like cupcakes, cookies, sweet breads, and cocktails! Our #SpringSweetsWeek sponsors are helping us give away some great prizes. Thank you so much Swiss Diamond, Dixie Crystals, Nancy’s Yogurt, Sprinkle Pop, Adams Extracts, Barleans, Melissa’s Produce, and PEEPS® for your generosity. We have an incredible giveaway below and would love if you would take a moment to read about it and what you can win!

I’m so excited to share some really great recipes with you this week – starting off with these awesome soft frosted lemon cookies!

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Check out the amazing prizes you can win in our #SpringSweetsWeek Giveaway!

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Tomato Asiago PDO Soup #UncommonFlavorsofEurope

This post is sponsored in conjunction with #UncommonFlavorsofEurope. I received product samples from the sponsor to aid in the creation of this post. All opinions are mine alone.

Do you know where your food is from? Do you know what’s in it? It’s a perpetual goal of mine to do better when it comes to food quality. We’ve made some big strides by joining our local CSA, but I’m always learning – and have learned there are some things you just can’t get locally.

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Take, for example, Asiago PDO. True Asiago PDO is made only in the Asiago Plateau region of Italy – and has been made exactly the same way for more than 1000 years. PDO stands for “Protected Geographical Indication”, and is issued by the European Union. Foods baring the PDO designation have the strongest possible links to historical practices.

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Smoked Macaroni and Cheese on the Grill with Smokin O’s #CookoutWeek #Sponsored

Disclaimer: I received free product in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.

I never really considered macaroni and cheese a cookout food – until I had kids. Now, macaroni and cheese is an all-the-time food. I’ve been dreaming up an on-the-grill version for a while and I knew Cookout Week was the perfect opportunity.

It was also a great chance to try out Smokin O’s. Smokin O’s is one of our Cookout Week sponsors and they sent us a sampler pack to try out. Smokin O’s are a great way to add smoked flavor on a gas grill – this recipe features an Applewood Smokin O.

And this makes a creamy, delicious, smoky mac and cheese with almost no effort. It’s a perfect cookout dish!

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Smoked Macaroni and Cheese on the Grill with Smokin O’s
(a Kate’s Recipe Box original)

2 1/2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
2 Tbsp. melted butter
3 cups milk
2 cups half and half
16 oz. shredded cheddar jack cheese
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. paprika
1 Applewood Smokin O
Green onions, for topping
Chopped bacon, for topping

Prepare the grill with the Smokin O. Directions are here.

Spray a disposable 9×11″ pan with non-stick spray.  Pour in the elbow macaroni. Pour the melted butter, milk, and half and half into the pan an stir to combine. Stir in the cheese, salt, pepper, mustard and paprika.

Place the pan on the grill over indirect heat with the cover closed. Cook for 1 hour 45 minutes to two hours – stirring every 10 minutes for the first 40 minutes.

When cooked, top with green onions and chopped bacon before serving.

Cranberry Honey Banana Bread #RecipeMakeover

Disclosure: I received products from Barlean’s free as part of #RecipeMakeover week. All opinions are my own.

While I’m pretty decent at whipping up a healthy dinner when need be, my baking projects are decidedly different.  Tackling a makeover of one of my most-frequently-baked items – banana bread – seemed like the perfect challenge.

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As I was working on this recipe, I turned to products from #RecipeMakeover sponsor, Barlean’s. Their Butter Flavored Coconut Oil can be subbed 1:1 for butter – so that was a great place to start. Roasting the bananas brought out some more natural sugars, and using Barlean’s Digestive Blend punched up the flavor while adding some good-for-you stuff to the bread (it’s a mix of ground flaxseed, chia seed, quinoa, unsweetened shredded coconut, and a pumpkin blend that is remeniscint of pumpkin spice!) My added sweetener here was a local cranberry honey (fun fact: New Jersey is the 3rd biggest cranberry producing state in the US!) – I Iiked the flavor it added, but if you don’t have this available any honey would be great in this recipe.

The result? A banana bread that was really good – and much better for you than my usual go-to loaf.

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Cranberry Honey Banana Bread
(a Kate’s Recipe Box original)
Makes 1 loaf

4 medium bananas
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup Barlean’s Digestive Blend
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of ginger
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup melted Barlean’s Butter Flavored Coconut Oil
1/2 cup Cranberry Honey (or regular honey)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Line  a baking sheet with foil. Prick the banana peels with a fork, place them on the baking sheet, and roast for 15 minutes. Remove to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, Barlean’s Digestive Blend, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, Barlean’s Butter Flavored Coconut Oil, and honey until well combined. Mash bananas and add to the wet ingredients – stir until well combined.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until the everything is just moistened.

Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Grilled Chicken Cordon Bleu #RecipeMakeover

Disclosure: I received this product for free as part of #RecipeMakeover week. All opinions are my own.

We are grill-obsessed in the summer, so when the opportunity came up to work with Smokin-Os, I was beyond excited. I tend to slather my grill creations in sauce – usually one that’s loaded with sugar. Barbecue, teriyaki, and sweet and sour sauces end up in heavy rotation. With Smokin-Os, though, that’s not necessary.

Smokin-Os are a ridiculously easy way to get all the flavor of smoking with minimal effort. They pack a huge flavor punch without adding any calories. You can see how to use them here.

SmokinOs

When I started brainstorming what I wanted to try and makeover for #RecipeMakeover week, I kept coming back to Chicken Cordon Bleu. I love it, but it’s usually fried and often comes with a heavy sauce. As soon as I got my hands on the Smokin-Os, I knew they’d be a great way to pack a lot of flavor into my dish, while ditching the frying. I was so excited how these turned out!

To find out more about Smokin-Os, like them on Facebook!

GrilledChickenCordonBleu

Grilled Chicken Cordon Bleu with Smokin-Os
(a Kate’s Recipe Box original
Serves 4

4 thin-cut, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt, pepper, and oregano, to taste
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. olive oil
4 slices deli ham
4 slices Swiss cheese
1 Original Smokin-Os

Prepare the grill according to the Smokin-Os package directions.

Season chicken breasts to taste with salt, pepper, and oregano. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, honey, and olive oil.

When the grill is ready, spray with non-stick spray and add chicken breasts. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then flip, brushing the top with the honey-mustard mixture. Cook another 3-4 minutes, flip and brush again. Add 1 slice of ham, topped with one slice of Swiss cheese to each chicken breast and cook for another minute, until the cheese melts.